Special Broadcast on HIV and AIDS – The science and censorship

Joan Shenton is a long-time medical documentary film director, who started covering controversies over HIV and AIDS in the late 1980s. Despite winning awards for her films she was eventually censored and for years could not work in the field. More recently she produced the historical documentary, "Positively False" and, most relevant to tonight's discussion, "Positive Hell", the story of former heroin addicts in Northern Spain who have been living with an HIV diagnosis for almost 30 years, almost entirely without drugs and with the exception of one person in the documentary, in health. Joan is also the author of "Positively False". She heads the Immunity Resource Foundation in the UK which has a fantastic collection of archival AIDS documentary footage. Her website is joanshenton.com

Bobby Russell was diagnosed as HIV positive in late 2004. In 2013, he learned that a negative HIV diagnosis on a Western Blot HIV test had been withheld from him. Consequently went off the AIDS drugs and sued for restitution due to the damage from the drugs he had taken for 8 years.  The case was recently thrown out on a technicality and he is appealing.  His story and information can be found at his website bobbywrussell.com
Anne Sono Blumenthal is a German journalist and filmmaker in Berlin who has been engaged in the HIV-AIDS controversy. She is the founder of Blue Bell Media and the director of the film “I will Not Go Quietly, which follows the lives of several HIV positive women who refused AIDS drugs and instead embarked on living a more active, natural and healthy lifestyle.
Prof. Peter Duesberg is professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California at Berkeley.  He was the first to isolate a cancer gene through his work with retroviruses back in 1970 and mapped the genetic structure of this class of viruses. His work in retrovirus research awarded him an election to the National Academy of Sciences and Outstanding Investigator Grants from the National Institutes of Health.  Based upon his knowledge of retroviruses, he has been at the forefront in challenging the virus-AIDS hypothesis and has published in the world’s leading medical journals.  As a consequence, Dr. Duesberg’s hypothesis has won support from many scientists who have been outcast from publishing their views, including Nobel laureates such Kary Mullis, inventor of PCR technology. 

Prof. Henry Bauer is professor emeritus of chemistry and science studies and a former dean at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and was the dean of the university’s college of Arts and Sciences for a stint.  After his retirement he served as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Scientific Exploration for seven years. Prof Bauer did his doctorate at the University of Sydney in Australia and post-doctoral work at the University of Michigan.

He is the author of several books including “Dogmatism in Science and Medicine: How Dominant Theories Monopolize Research and Stifle the Search for Truth, and earlier “The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory,”  which was among the first books to gather together two decades of research on HIV and AIDS and to identify the scientific contradictions. 

Terry Michael is a seasoned political reporter and press secretary who is currently the executive director for the Washington Center for Politics and Journalism, which sponsors the Politics and Journalism Semester to educate future political reporters. In the mid-1980s he was the press secretary for the Democratic National Committee and later the press aide for Congressmen Paul Simon and Robert Matsui. Terry has several journalism awards including the distinguish service award from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Presidential Award of the Association for Education in Journalism.  Although being a journalist and gay man living in Washington DC, the most critical city on the HIV-AIDS agenda, he became active in the controversy 5 years ago, particularly on issues of censorship in the mainstream media.  His website is terrymichael.net

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